SINGAPORE: The sex—for—contracts trial of former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief Ng Boon Gay has been adjourned till after lunch, when the judge is set to decide if Ng must answer to corruption charges.
Lead prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee told the court earlier Monday that contrary to what the defence has claimed, there is a case for Ng to answer.
On 2 November, the defence, led by Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, asked the court to drop the charges against Ng, after the prosecution wrapped up its case in the trial.
Ng, 46, is charged with obtaining sexual gratification from IT sales executive Cecilia Sue on four occasions in 2011, allegedly in exchange for furthering her employers’ business interests.
On Monday morning, DPP Tan highlighted three key areas.
The first was on gratification.
The defence had previously said it was Ms Sue’s evidence that Ng never obtained the sexual gratification he wanted from her.
And if no gratification was given, how could there have been any corruption?
DPP Tan described the claim by the defence as "mischievous".
He said under the law, whether or not the fellatio is adequate or satisfactory is irrelevant.
What is relevant is that gratification took place and Ng was a government official.
On the defence’s claim that there was no favour performed by Ng, DPP Tan said that under the corruption law, the lack of expressed or overt information is immaterial.
He said there is no need for the prosecution to show that there was explicit favour given.
He brought up the example of Ms Sue and Ng having a celebratory lunch in March 2011, when the company she worked for clinched a contract.
At that time, Ms Sue toasted Ng and thanked him for the success.
DPP Tan said Ng then seized the opportunity to ask for fellatio.
He said the context of the fellatio shows a link between Ng’s demands and the tenders.
On the presence of corrupt element and guilty knowledge, DPP Tan pointed out that as a public servant, especially being an agency chief, Ng should have declared the conflict of interest.
He told the court Ng could have declared the conflict of interest without giving details and walked away from being an approval authority of tenders.
But Ng did not do so.
Given that Ng did receive gratification, that he was under the employment of the government, and that at the time of the alleged offences, payment or receipt of the gratification was from someone who was actively seeking business opportunities, DPP Tan said the onus is on Ng to defend himself.
DPP Tan added that the Corruption Act was designed to compel every public servant so he will not accept cash or in—kind from the public, unless he has legitimate reasons to do so.
As to Ms Sue’s credibility, he said she only had difficulty testifying when it came to questions about her intimate relationship with Ng.
But the defence begged to differ.
In rebuttal, SC Tan said the prosecution was making "motherhood statements".
He said there is no dispute that there was gratification but that it is arguable for the prosecution to say that any sex is gratification.
He said "sex can be a favour, but not all sex are favours".
SC Tan said the prosecution has misinterpreted its submissions on no case to answer.
On the point about gratification, he said if Ms Sue’s intent was to procure business opportunities, then by not obliging Ng, she would have incurred his wrath.
The senior counsel also asked whether a failure to declare a conflict of interest amounts to corruption and if it is fair to do so.
While he admitted that his client, Ng, failed to declare the conflict of interest, SC Tan said the prosecution failed to ask the Finance Ministry’s Anita Lai and Deputy Director of CNB, Marvin Sim, if not declaring conflict of interest equates corruption.
On the prosecution’s point that it does not have to prove anything under the perimeters of the Corruption Act, SC Tan called it an "astounding proposition", and one which he said "makes a mockery of the law".
He added that prosecution has asked the court to accept certain parts of Ms Sue’s evidence but has refused to indicate which parts the court should take into account and which not to.
This prompted him to ask the court: what about the fact that Ms Sue admitted to having an intimate relationship with Ng?
District Judge Siva Shanmugam has adjourned the session till after lunch. He is expected to come to a decision then.
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